Big news today is that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie fulfilled everyone's political expectations and killed his own candidacy for the Republican nomination for presidency in 2016.
A top aide, it seems, pushed for "traffic problems" in the city of Fort Lee as retribution against a mayor who wouldn't back the governor's candidacy. That led to 4.5 hour traffic jams on the George Washington Bridge. It's unclear exactly what Christie knew, but the unfolding scandal plays right into the hands of stereotypes of Christie as a petty big city, East Coast party boss.
Back in November, Quinnipac did a poll that showed Christie trailing Hillary Clinton 45% to 41%. The New Jersey governor was third in a hypothetical Republican primary, eight points behind former Governor Jeb Bush and four points behind Cuban American US Senator Marco Rubio.
So Christie is unlikely to get the nod in the primary and he loses to Hillary in the general election in the swing state that has been the most critical in presidential elections. So long, you stomach surgery refugee.
Rubio, meanwhile, raised his star some yesterday by calling Lyndon Johnson's war on poverty lost and proposing a kind of block grant system that would allow states to deal with their own poverty problems. It was a radically new approach that received some praise on boths ideas of the aisle,
"Five decades and trillions of dollars after President Johnson waged his War on Poverty, the results of this big-government approach are in," he said. "We have four million Americans who have been out of work for six months or more."
A new agency would be created, but most power over programs like food stamps would be moved to states.
Of course, Rubio has lately had his share of problems -- having supported an immigration plan that died and changed his position on the nomination of an openly gay federal judge who would have been a ground breaker
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And if Jeb Bush decides to run, that would also likely kill any hope that Rubio might have of a successful run for the White House. The youngest Bush, now a granddad, has been ambivalent about the idea.